Migration refers to a situation where individuals and /or family members relocate to a foreign country or region to ameliorate their economic or social prospects. According to the United Nations, a migrant is someone who has lived in a foreign country for a period exceeding one year, regardless of the circumstances that prompted them to move.
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Considering this definition, those visiting for shorter durations cannot be classified as migrants. There are several concepts that relate to migration. They include transnationalism, transnational migrants, and migrant transnationalism. Transnationalism refers to any social process that surpasses national borders.
These activities are not confined to a particular country or region. Transnational migrants are those in constant motion. They constantly cross national borders as opposed to settling in one country. Migrant transnationalism refers to a situation where migrants retain and maintain ties with their home countries. This accords them an opportunity to participate in affairs of the host country, as well as their home country.
There are various types of migrant transnationalism. They include economic transnationalism, and political transnationalism. In economic transnationalism, migrants contribute to the economy of the host country, as well as maintain relations with their home country. Such migrants send money back to their country of origin. These remittances are meant to support families that were left behind by the migrants.
The remittances largely impact on the economies of sending countries. In political transnationalism, immigrants participate actively in political activities both in the host and home country. Most immigrants retain right to vote in their home country. However, migrant transnationalism is not a new occurrence. In contemporary society, migration is made easier by technological advancements and developments in international mass media. These factors have increased the visibility of migrant transnationalism.
Migration impacts heavily on the identity of immigrants. Identity refers to consciousness of belonging to a certain social grouping. Types of identity are ethnic identity, national identity, occupational identity, and social class identity. Migration plays a key role in altering identity of individuals.
In migration trends, women are constantly put to focus. Most immigrant women find it difficult to move around and search for employment in the host country. Any form of movement by women impacts negatively on familial bond and structure. This is attributed to the fact that family relations and interactions are anchored on women.
If women are away from their families for long periods, the family gets to realign itself to the prevailing circumstances. Immigrant women earn less compared to men. This is because women are mostly semi-skilled. This makes it difficult for them to get well-paying jobs. In many societies around the world, women are required to stay at home and look after children. This means that immigrant women do not get support from their male partners. Therefore, migration for women is an occasion for possible rejection.
It is evident that women face numerous challenges relating to migration. Women find it difficult to move around with their families. Consequently, they have to arrange on how their families will be catered for in their absence. Immigrant women often perform jobs that are lowly ranked in society.
They work as sexual workers, caregivers, and domestic household workers. These jobs attract poor compensation rates. Women are disadvantaged by their subordinate gender position in society. Their jobs are exploitative and demeaning.
Most women migrate for economic reasons. Others are forced to migrate in order to escape abusive spouses. Others migrate to reunite with their families. Women have more to lose in comparison to men. The circumstances surrounding migration of women are difficult and unique. Women face difficulty in finding employment in host countries. However, men are well placed in terms of employment prospects in the host country.